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Old 21-06-2024, 08:10   #1
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Icom simplifies MMSI reset procedures in its new radios

Good news from Icom.

They have simplified the procedure for resetting own ship MMSI on almost all of their DSC-equipped radios sold after December 2023. The only radio without this procedure are the M330 and M424G series.

Under the old reset procedure, a manufacturer's rep had to be called to bring the necessary dongle. Under the new procedure, Icom will email the necessary reset code.

Resetting MMSI is necessary whenever the radio or boat which the radio is mounted on is sold, or if a mistake was made when entering the MMSI. The USCG NAVCEN website describes that process here.



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Old 21-06-2024, 08:13   #2
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Re: Icom simplifies MMSI reset procedures in its new radios

Thank god. All the dumb **** companies did was something they made up out of thin air. There was never any such requirement. Now if we could get the same thing for AIS transponders.
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Old 21-06-2024, 10:25   #3
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Re: Icom simplifies MMSI reset procedures in its new radios

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Originally Posted by Statistical View Post
... Now if we could get the same thing for AIS transponders.
RTCM plans to begin work on a standard addressing MMSI reset for both VHF radios and AIS this summer.
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Old 22-06-2024, 05:43   #4
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Re: Icom simplifies MMSI reset procedures in its new radios

I believe that Standard-Horizon began about five years ago (c.2019) to implement a similar feature in some models of their DSC radios that allows the user to reset the MMSI "with advice from the manufacturer" in a similar form using a unique key code.

I don't have authoritative sources for this, but Standard-Horizon radios as old as their c.2020 GX2150 are said to able to be reset by the user, but only if the firmware in the GX2150 is at revision 5.0 level.

Also mentioned as able to perform MMSI reset with a code key from the factory are the models GX1800-series, GX220-series, and GX1400, and the handheld DSC radios HX870 and newer models HX890.

That ICOM is now about five years later adding a similar feature is good news for buyers of new ICOM DSC radios that will have the feature.
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Old 22-06-2024, 07:47   #5
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Re: Icom simplifies MMSI reset procedures in its new radios

the whole sham of resetting MMSI numbers seem to be just that. my radio my number .. none of your business really
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Old 22-06-2024, 07:55   #6
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Re: Icom simplifies MMSI reset procedures in its new radios

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Originally Posted by gonesail View Post
the whole sham of resetting MMSI numbers seem to be just that. my radio my number .. none of your business really
Well in the US the FCC put in language that resetting the MMSI has to require coordination with the manufacturer.

So completely open enter and reset as you please MMSI were never and likely will never be legal in the US.

However the ******** of making it enter once and can never change or has to be shipped to the manufacturer or requires you to bring it into a dealer is just crap the manufacturers made up themselves. There is no reasonable reading of the regs that would reach that conclusion.

I find reset code to be reasonable compromise. Weird that manufacturers resisted this for years and now are "seeing the light". I wonder if the FCC is leaning on them to cleanup the mess they created. If people can't reset the MMSI by any reasonable method they won't and then you have AIS and DSC radios with incorrect data out there.
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Old 22-06-2024, 07:57   #7
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Re: Icom simplifies MMSI reset procedures in its new radios

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Originally Posted by continuouswave View Post
That ICOM is now about five years later adding a similar feature is good news for buyers of new ICOM DSC radios that will have the feature.
It is a shame they didn't do this 5 years ago. There will be a ton of radios out there for years which lack the ability. It would be a requirement that all AIS have the same capability.

Honestly it is in FCC best interest to mandate this given that hard or impossible to change devices just means devices being used incorrectly.
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Old 22-06-2024, 11:53   #8
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Re: Icom simplifies MMSI reset procedures in its new radios

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Originally Posted by Statistical View Post
Well in the US the FCC put in language that resetting the MMSI has to require coordination with the manufacturer.
Please cite the federal regulation that includes the language "require coordination with the manufacturer." A hyperlink to where that can be found on-line from a government source would be great.
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Old 22-06-2024, 12:01   #9
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Re: Icom simplifies MMSI reset procedures in its new radios

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Originally Posted by continuouswave View Post
Please cite the federal regulation that includes the language "require coordination with the manufacturer." A hyperlink to where that can be found on-line from a government source would be great.
I don't have the exact reg nor do I care enough to find it. The coastguard however uses similar language

Quote:
Deleting own-ship MMSI
ITU regulations prevent you from deleting own-ship MMSI without advice from the radio manufacturer. You will need to contact the manufacturer or its representative to determine how MMSIs are deleted on that particular model, regardless of whether it is DSC-equipped radio or a Class A or Class B AIS unit. F
https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/MMSIs-for-Federal-Vessel

ITU says

Quote:
12.4 Maritime mobile service identity
DSC equipment should not transmit any DSC call until own ship’s MMSI allocated to the ship by the relevant administration has been configured and stored in the DSC equipment. Once stored, it should only be possible for an authorised user to change the MMSI with cooperation from the manufacturer or the authorized entity
https://www.itu.int/dms_pubrec/itu-r...2-I!!PDF-E.pdf

Due to international treaties the FCC enforces ITU guidelines. So if it is your point this is an ITU rule not an FCC rule then ok but an ITU rule enforced by the FCC doesn't change much.
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Old 23-06-2024, 04:16   #10
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Re: Icom simplifies MMSI reset procedures in its new radios

Statisical--thank you for providing the two URL's regarding the language used in regulations or recommendations that mention how an MMSI may be changed in a DSC radio.

The phrase "advice from the manufacturer" seems more familiar to me than your mention of "coordination with the manufacturer."

A third phrase,"cooperation from the manufacturer", appears in the latest revision of the ITU-R M.493 recommendation, the -16 revision from December 2023, but that revision is not actually the standard referenced by the US government.

The US government defines the standard at

80.225 Requirements for selective calling equipment.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/80.225

There it references the -13 revision of M.493

In that revision, the section you have cited, 12.4 MMSI, reads as follows:

Quote:
12.4 MMSI
DSC equipment should not transmit any DSC call until own ship’s MMSI allocated to the ship by the relevant administration has been configured and stored in the DSC equipment. Once stored, it should not be possible for the user to change the MMSI without advice from the manufacturer. [Emphasis added]
Cf.: https://www.itu.int/dms_pubrec/itu-r...0-S!!PDF-E.pdf

That standard is from where I took the phase "advice from the manufacturer" and used it in quotation marks in my remarks in this thread. Apparently, that is also where the USCG got that phrase and used it in the NavCen information.

You slightly misquoted the -16 revision, which says "with cooperation from the manufacturer" and cited it as "require coordination with the manufacturer." Your phrase, as far as I can tell, is not used in the ITU recommendation or in federal regulations.

The real point of all this: the ITU recommendation never explicitly stated that the user could only alter the MMSI by taking the physical radio to the manufacturer or his authorized representative to have the MMSI changed.

However, to assert that all radio manufacturers engaged in some sort of secret agreement ("a sham") to perhaps extract a fee from DSC radio users to change the MMSI is really very speculative. I think the radio manufacturers probably adopted their initial policy because they wanted to be sure their radios could not have the MMSI changed very easily in the field because they wanted to be certain to be in compliance with section 12.4.

Also, going way back to the very earliest DSC radios, they complied with a recommendation from RTCM Paper 56-95, SC101, Recommended Minimum Standards for Digital Selective Calling (DSC) Equipment Providing Minimum Distress and Safety Capability, Version 1.0.

I do not have a copy of that recommendation, but I do note that the earliest DSC radios sold in the US were said to comply with that standard, and those radios allowed the user to enter the MMSI more than once, and my inference is the SC101 standard likely provided for that to be allowed, or at the least did not specify any restrictions on changing the MMSI.
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Old 23-06-2024, 08:18   #11
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Re: Icom simplifies MMSI reset procedures in its new radios

I might note that any AIS transponder or DSC radio sold in the US MUST be USCG-approved. So manufacturers built them in such a way that the CG would approve them - I suspect that there has been communication between the manufacturers and the CG to the effect of: "OK, the way we designed them initially is a major PITA for the users - we need to be able to make it work more easily so people will buy and use this equipment."
So don't blame the manufacturers - they were doing what they thought they needed to in order to get their equipment approved for sale.



FWIW, I have two SH HX890s that I acquired used - SH has a process in the manual that clearly explains how to obtain a "code" from the radio, which is then emailed to SH, who responds with a code that deletes the current MMSI and allows re-programming. Worked a charm for me Btw, the code is unique per radio, so my code won't work for your radio


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Old 23-06-2024, 08:37   #12
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Re: Icom simplifies MMSI reset procedures in its new radios

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartleyg View Post
I might note that any AIS transponder or DSC radio sold in the US MUST be USCG-approved. So manufacturers built them in such a way that the CG would approve them - I suspect that there has been communication between the manufacturers and the CG to the effect of: "OK, the way we designed them initially is a major PITA for the users - we need to be able to make it work more easily so people will buy and use this equipment."
So don't blame the manufacturers - they were doing what they thought they needed to in order to get their equipment approved for sale.
If that were true then the fact that SH wouldn't have been doing code resets five years ago and icom refused to do until just now (and on new radios only). Also no AIS to my knowledge has code resets yet.

Summary
SH - code for reset of MMSI 5 years ago
icom - code for resets of MMSI only for 2024 models or later
ais transponder - no reset of MMSI possible not 5 years ago and not today. There are some backdoor via software tools but non disclosed to consumers officially and this access is not universal.

Ideally someday we get to a place where every device can be reset by code but we are far from it. I think it is unlikely the coast guard told SH they could use codes and icom can't.
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Old 23-06-2024, 10:04   #13
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Re: Icom simplifies MMSI reset procedures in its new radios

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Originally Posted by Hartleyg View Post
I might note that any AIS transponder or DSC radio sold in the US MUST be USCG-approved.
The process for a manufacturer to get a DSC radio approved for sale in the USA goes like this:

--the manufacturer engages an authorized standards testing agency recognized by the FCC to test a new radio;

--the testing agency examines and tests the radio for compliance with the standard; this involves many elements, such as frequency accuracy, power output, correct modulation, and also operational behavior;

More details about the testing procedure can be found in an article at

Class-D DSC Radio Testing
https://continuouswave.com/forum/vie...hp?f=13&t=3110

Once the radio has obtained approval from an accepted or certified testing agency, the FCC generally approves the radio for sale.

I do not believe that the USCG becomes involved with the certification of DSC radios. (The only time that might occur is when the DSC radio also includes an AIS transmitter, as AIS is considered navigation equipment)

The FCC is the source of authority that has issued the regulations for what a DSC RADIO must comply with to be legal to be imported, sold, installed, or used in the USA.

The USCG website has a section "Approved Equipment List", in which they list all the "approval series name" categories. Navigation equipment is on the USCG approved equipment list. AIS is on the list with two categories, AIS Class A and AIS Class B devices. Several RADAR devices are on the list. And EPIRB devices are on the list.

But I do not see any approval series on the list for DSC radios. On that basis, I do not see an inference that the USCG is involved in approving DSC radios.

Further, there is quite a good example of the FCC being involved with DSC radios. In 2016 the FCC issued a notice of a Consent Decree regarding an investigation into certain DSC radios manufactured by ICOM for the VHF Marine Band and their compliance with the required provision of ITU-R M.493-13, the international standard for digital selective calling radios. ICOM admits that it manufactured, imported, and sold radios that did not include all specified features, will pay a civil penalty of $20,000, and will implement a compliance plan to prevent future violations. That all was under the purview of the FCC, not the USCG.

An article with details of what revisions were needed to achieve compliance can be found at

ICOM DSC Radio Not Fully Compliant
https://continuouswave.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1064

Curiuously, another government agency, the National Telecommunication and Information Agency (NTIA) did some testing of VHF Marine Band radios in 1999, in conjunction with the USCG and the RTCM. The purpose was to assess VHF Marine Band radios of that era for immunity to interference from strong signals from land originating from other radio services which could cause receiver blocking.

The report is still available on-line at


NTIA REPORT 99-362
Evaluation of Marine VHF Radios:
Performance in the Savannah, Ga.
and New Orleans, La. Port Areas
https://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/...s/tr99_362.pdf
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Old 23-06-2024, 11:04   #14
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Re: Icom simplifies MMSI reset procedures in its new radios

Quote:
Also no AIS to my knowledge has code resets yet.
It is possible to reset older AIS Transceivers based on the SIRF chipset to their factory defaults (including the MMSI number) and to query/configure some of the settings by sending and receiving some proprietary NMEA 0183sentences.

Some of the specific commands, such as factory reset require a preceding NMEA sentence to be sent which contains the authorization code.

I'll leave it as an academic exercise to search through the forum and find an example of the authorization sentence and to calculate the NMEA checksum on the following examples..

Reset to factory defaults
Code:
$PSRT,RDP
Enable Silent Mode (ie: not transmit your position)
Code:
$PSRT,TRG,02,33
Disable Silent Mode
Code:
$PSRT,TRG,02,00
Query LED status
Code:
$DUAIQ,LED
Query internal operation data
Code:
$DUAIQ,ADC
Retrieve Ship Static Data (what goes into AIS Message 24 - Part B)
Code:
$DUAIQ,SSD
Retrieve the MMSI number
Code:
$DUAIQ,010
Retrieve OEM Name
Code:
$DUAIQ,SRM
For example the reponse from requesting the OEM name on my transponder is:
Code:
$PSRT,SRM,01,02,COMAR@@
As I personally don't have a modern AIS transponder I haven't been inclined to investigate further.
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Old 23-06-2024, 12:09   #15
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Re: Icom simplifies MMSI reset procedures in its new radios

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Originally Posted by joehersey View Post

Resetting MMSI is necessary whenever the radio or boat which the radio is mounted on is sold,
This is just not true.

With just a little planning and cooperation between buyer and seller the MMSI number can easily be kept with the vessel and transferred to the new owner. This is actually the way it is supposed to work.
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